Crime

Man Fatally Shot By Cops Was Photographing Illinois Schools, Wearing Body Armor

| by Nik Bonopartis
Lakeview Elementary SchoolLakeview Elementary School

A man who was wearing body armor and taking photographs of local schools in Illinois on Jan. 6 was shot dead after struggling with cops who responded to calls about his suspicious behavior.

Police in Lake County said they received calls about the 38-year-old man, who was snapping images of Lakeview Elementary School in Zion, a city of 24,000 about 50 miles north of Chicago. A New York Post report said the man was carrying a BB gun, while a story by WBBM said the man had an airsoft gun.

When police approached the man at about 8:30 a.m., he took off on foot and led cops on a short foot chase, which ended in a struggle. After a  stun gun did not bring the man down, at least one officer fired a shot and the man was injured, Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Christopher Covelli said. Police tried to keep the man alive before paramedics rushed him to Vista East Hospital, where he died.

The man was wearing a homemade tactical vest with metal plates, rather than traditional body armor. Police haven't released his name, but told WBBM they were searching his home in an attempt to find out why he was taking photographs of local schools.

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Seven schools within the local district were placed on lockdown as a safety precaution during the incident. The lockdowns were lifted by the afternoon.

“Everybody got in their rooms, they locked the doors and they told us just be calm,” student Jatasia Brown told WBBM.

Sources: New York Post, WBBM / Photo source: Zion School District